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Real-life experiments in Explore-At-Bristol


Which eye do you use most – left or right? How strong are your hands? Who do you respond to most – Maggie Thatcher, Tony Blair or a spider? These were just some of the questions that scientists hoped to answer after spending a weekend in Explore.


Over 200 visitors took part in our ‘Real-life experiments’ in Explore-At-Bristol. The experiments were run by Dr Priscilla Heard and her team from the University of the West of England (UWE).


Are you right or left-handed... or both?


Most people would say they are either right-handed or left-handed. Yet research shows that many people alternate their hand use depending on the task.

In this experiment, visitors were asked to do a series of tasks whilst psychologists logged which hand they used. The aim was to find out whether people who are always left-handed or always right-handed are better with their hands and are less accident prone than 'mixed-handers'.


A psychology student from the University of the West of England tests a visitor as his family looks on.

Remember this headline?


Who said Mrs Thatcher is sexier than Denise?


At-Bristol and the University of the West of England carried out research at the House of Commons which led to these headlines. We found out that MP's responded more to a picture of Maggie than they did to Denise Van Outen.


Our visitors took part in an identical experiment to discover which pictures made them react.